As a leading hearing care center in Washington, we at Columbia Basin Hearing Center know everything there is to know about hearing aids and their various elements. These items can be a huge boost to quality of life for many people by helping them maintain hearing that may be leaving them as they age.
We provide several different types of hearing aids for our clients, but each of them contain three universal elements: A microphone, a processor and a receiver. Let’s look at how each of these three parts works.
The microphone is the first step in the process of improving your hearing. It can pick up sounds in the environment and convert them into electronic signals – later along the line, these signals will be converted into processed sounds by the processor.
There are two kinds of microphones: Directional and omnidirectional. Directional mics mostly pick up sounds in front of the person wearing them, where omnidirectional mics can pick them up from all directions. Both can be beneficial – directional are great for individual conversations in loud places, but omnidirectional can help people figure out where sounds are coming from. In modern times, most hearing aids come equipped with both types of microphones.
The processor, or amplifier, takes that electronic signal from the microphone and converts it into a digital signal. The processor is tuned to each person’s individual needs, including how high a level of sound they need to accommodate their hearing loss. For people with tinnitus symptoms, this is where tinnitus masking features are added.
Finally, the hearing aid converts that digital signal back into an analog sound. This analog sound is sent to the receiver, which enhances the sound to meet the hearing loss of the wearer. Some hearing aids have the receiver placed directly in the ear canal, where others place it near a small tube, which it connects to and is inserted into the ear.
These are the basics, but there are many other different factors that might make a certain hearing aid right for you. To learn more our hearing aid repairs and services, or any of our hearing care center services, speak to one of our staff members at Columbia Basin Hearing today.